Things to do in Penzance
The Sights and Sensations of Cornwall
Trereife House’s convenient location in the heart of southwest Cornwall makes it the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing country retreat. With our seamless access to main roads and railway connections, you won’t have any difficulty exploring all that Cornwall has to offer. Known for its stunning scenery and wide vistas of coastline, Cornwall is a popular holiday destination for everyone. The warm climate and diverse Celtic heritage set amidst the scenic landscapes, picturesque villages, and historic towns provide the visitor with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy delicious local cuisine, intriguing history, fascinating attractions, and various cultural pursuits. But if that wasn’t enough, Cornwall is home to some of the best beaches in the United Kingdom.
Here is a list of some of the activities and attractions that we recommend to help make your vacation in Cornwall a memorable one. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff at our historic manor house would be pleased to help you build an itinerary for an exciting day out while providing all of the directions and information that you require.
The county of Cornwall boasts three dramatically different and unique coastlines. In the north, visitors will enjoy sensational surfing opportunities and a great party atmosphere while the west offers craggy coastlines and stunning views. The west is also home to some great family beaches and the harbour towns of Falmouth and St Ives are not to be missed. In the south, our soft sandy beaches feature azure blue waters and a sub-tropical climate within secluded coves that are perfect for relaxation. Here are some of our recommendations:
Holywell Bay, Newquay (North Cornwall): A great family beach that is quieter and fun to play with the kids in the rolling sand dunes.
Polzeath Beach, Polzeath (North Cornwall): The long stretch of sand makes this the ideal place for aspiring surfers. A lifeguard is on duty in season.
Kynance Cove, Lizard (West Cornwall): One of Cornwall’s most scenic beaches featuring golden sand amidst craggy cliffs.
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives (West Cornwall): The vast stretches of sand make this a nice spot for a family picnic. You can also enjoy good surfing.
East Looe Beach, Looe (South Cornwall): From rock pools to trampolines built into the sand, this is a great place to bring the family.
Lantic Bay, Fowey (South Cornwall): This beach is an ideal place to bring your dog to play in this quiet and secluded cove.
Beyond the diverse Celtic heritage, Cornwall also is known for its strong industrial heritage. The mining landscape has even been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its extensive wealth of archaeology, Cornwall is a popular destination for visitors interested in cultural tourism. Ancient antiquities can be found throughout the region. Be on the lookout for remains of iron age villages and stone circles between Penzance and Land’s End. You will also find many Celtic crosses along the Cornish countryside.
Tintagel Castle provides an extra special experience for the family. Built in the 13th century as a strong hold for the Earls of Cornwall, the ruins that remain are one of Cornwall’s most iconic attractions in the south west. Perched high upon the rugged Cornwall coast, the landmark offers dramatic views from its fascinating ruins. In addition, it is rumoured to be the birthplace of King Arthur and you are still able to pay a visit to the nearby Merlin’s Cave.
ARTS & CULTURE
With its stunning coastline and distinctive culture, Cornwall is a place that breeds inspiration and is home to a thriving and vibrant art scene. In addition to having the highest density of traditional ‘Celtic crosses’ of any region, it is also home to more working artists than any other place in the country perhaps with the exception of London. St Ives is the centrepiece of all things arty in Cornwall featuring harbourside alleyways that house local artists’ workshops and more than thirty local galleries. You can also find a handful of galleries in St Agnes, Fowey, and Penzance. Here are a few arts and cultural attractions that are not to be missed:
The Tate St Ives is one of the more popular art galleries in Cornwall showcasing British and international modern and contemporary art.
The Minack Theatre just outside of Penzance is a sight to behold featuring a natural open-air amphitheatre carved into the cliffs of Porthcurno.
The Eden Project is the world’s largest greenhouse featuring large biomes that showcase more than 5,000 plant species from all over the world.
FOR THE KIDS
From the legendary historic sights to the beautiful beaches and numerous attractions, kids love coming to Cornwall. There is no shortage of adventurous days out for the family that can suit any budget or interests. Cornwall is a very family friendly destination. Here are some of our recommendations:
St. Michael’s Mount gives children the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of giants. The sea-encircled castle was once home to a legendary giant and is full of adventure.
The Lappa Valley Steam Railway is a two mile journey aboard a steam train. Kids will love the leisure park which features paddle boats, miniature railways, mini golf, and more.
Newquay Zoo showcases more than 130 species from the big cats to penguins playing in their pool. It’s a good day out for the family.
Blue Reef Aquarium takes families on an underwater safari where you can enjoy encounters with tropical sharks and delightful seahorses.
FOR THE APPETITE
Cornish cuisine has long been influenced by the geography of the area along with its social history. The best known dish of Cornwall is the infamous Cornish pasty which can draw its roots from Cornwall’s historic mining industry. The cuisine of Cornwall shares many similarities with its neighbour, Devon. Our staff will be happy to direct you to the best places to sample some of Cornwall’s culinary icons. Here are just some of the culinary creations and places that should be put on your list:
The Cornish Pasty features a delicious pocket of flaky pastry typically filled with meat, turnip, onion, and potatoes.
Cornish Ice Cream is yellowish in colour and incredibly rich in flavour thanks to its high buttermilk content. Be sure to try clotted cream as well!
The Cornish Cream Tea serves up splits with clotted cream and jam or treacle along with the traditional pot of tea.
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant overlooking Watergate Bay is the place to enjoy some of the local Cornish ingredients from one of Britain’s beloved celebrity chefs.
The warm climates coupled with the country’s best beaches make Cornwall a natural place for outdoor adventure. While many come to enjoy a good surfing lesson, there is no shortage of other outdoor activities to suit all interests. Here a few examples:
Surfing is indeed one of the main outdoor activities in Cornwall. The county is home to a number of surf schools and places to hire equipment.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are one of the most popular botanical gardens in the United Kingdom. It is located near Mevagissey.
Adrenalin Quarry offers something unique being the United Kingdom’s largest zip wire. Fly 50 meters across the flooded quarry at 40 miles per hour.
The great attractions of Cornwall offer something to enjoy for people of all ages and interests. The county is also a wonderful stopover en route to a holiday in the Isles of Scilly. While there are a range of transportation options available, bringing along your car is the easiest way to get around and explore all that this beautiful county has to offer. Like any extended holiday or day out with the family, you will want to make all of the necessary preparations to ensure you have a fun and seamless adventure. That includes drafting a list of all the essentials to bring along on your day out, having a map or satnav accessible to help navigate, and ensuring that your vehicle is adequately maintained and ready for the journey ahead. The last thing you need is an unforeseen mechanical interruption to disrupt your hard earned vacation. Cornwall is truly a wonderful holiday for the entire family and our staff is more than prepared to help make it a memorable one. The activities and attractions listed on this page are just a handful of the many things to do in our beautiful county. Don’t hesitate to ask us for additional recommendations that are tailored to your interests so that you won’t miss the best that Cornwall has to offer.